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ITS Database - Service Level Agreement

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8.0 - Updated on 2020-10-01 by Kevin C Chang

7.0 - Updated on 2020-04-06 by Kevin C Chang

6.0 - Updated on 2019-12-20 by Christopher T Owan

5.0 - Updated on 2019-03-26 by Kevin C Chang

4.0 - Updated on 2019-01-18 by Allen M Hernandez

3.0 - Updated on 2019-01-12 by Christopher T Owan

2.0 - Updated on 2018-10-30 by Christopher T Owan

1.0 - Authored on 2018-03-27 by Mallory Walker

This SLA is current as of 4/2/2020. See Appendix A for revisions to this document.

Purpose of Agreement

This Service Level Agreement (SLA) defines the services and service levels between the ITS Database team (service provider) and the University of Texas at Austin database Customers (consumers). This is an SLA to document:

  • The technology services that the ITS Database team provides to Customers.
  • The responsibilities of the ITS Database team as a provider for these services.
  • The responsibilities of the Customers subscribing to these services.
  • Processes for reporting incidents and requesting services.
  • The targets for response times, service availability, and maintenance associated with these services.

Service Description

The ITS Database team offers standards-based professionally-managed database systems, including hardware, software, and system administration, for Oracle, MySQL, and Microsoft SQL Server for University of Texas at Austin Customers. This service provides three database environments to support the full application development life cycle. The included environments are:

  • Development
  • Quality Assurance
  • Production

This service includes database services, database backups and recovery, and monitoring.

For information on other ITS services, visit the ITS Service Catalog.

Cost Schedule

The ITS Database team offers a shared service environment for each of the Oracle, MySQL, and Microsoft SQL Server services. These shared environments are available to Customers at no additional cost.

Dedicated or stand-alone environments are offered based on a cost recovery methodology to recover the operational and capital service costs of providing ITS Database environments for the Customer. The Customer will select from a list of service offering options and be charged the appropriate fee that has been reviewed and approved by the Office of Accounting's procedure for Costing and Analysis. Recurring fees will be charged and transferred at the beginning of the university fiscal year. Time is recorded based on 15-minute increments of work effort.

The service includes 20 hours annually for database administration support for application upgrades, database design, and database administration consulting. Items not covered in this SLA or any hours over the included 20 hours are subject to additional published hourly Time & Materials (T&M) charges. The ITS Database team manager will review estimated costs for the upcoming year for each Customer no later than 3 months prior to the next fiscal year. Significant changes will be noted and a revised estimate will be issued to the Customer. If, during the fiscal year, there is a significant and/or extreme change to the ITS Database infrastructure, the rates will be reviewed. In rare circumstances, this review may result in a mid-year change to a new recovery rate.

In order to protect the interests and assets of the University of Texas at Austin, ITS may be required to render services beyond those described in this document. Such additional support is provided at the discretion of university senior management with Customer consultation. This work may result in additional charges.

ITS Database Team Responsibilities

ITS Database team responsibilities and/or requirements in support of this SLA include:

  1. Notifying Customers of all planned maintenance events via the IT Maintenance Calendar.
  2. Notifying Customers of any unplanned service disruptions in a timely manner.
  3. Storing Customer contact information provided by the Customer in the ITS Database team inventory.
  4. Periodically requesting Customers update their contact information stored in the ITS Database team inventory.
  5. Notifying Customers using their provided contact information of planned maintenance and service outages.
  6. Monitoring Production, Quality Assurance (QA), and Development databases during normal business hours (Monday through Friday 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, excluding university holidays and university closures).
  7. Responding to Customer-reported incidents in a timely manner.
  8. Providing off-hours support for Production services when previously arranged by a Customer for critical business needs.
  9. Installing, patching, and maintaining the software and operating systems of the ITS Database team resources in accordance with industry best practices.
  10. Patching and maintaining the hardware of the ITS Database team resources in accordance with industry best practices.
  11. Maintaining the security of ITS Database team resources in accordance with the CIO's Campus IT Policies.
  12. Responding to Customer inquiries in a professional and timely manner.
  13. Implementing a standard database backup strategy based on industry best practices.
  14. Temporarily suspending the account, access, or usage of a Customer if it is determined that their application or database is causing major performance issues for other Customers or resources in a shared database service environment and notifying the Customer or their TSC of such action in a timely manner.
  15. Temporarily suspending the account, access, or usage of a Customer if it is determined that their application does not adhere to ISO policies and notifying the Customer or their TSC of such action in a timely manner.
  16. Temporarily suspending the account, access, or usage of a Customer, and eventually decommissioning the Customer's ITS Database resources, after repeated failed attempts to establish communication with the Customer using the provided contact information.
  17. Creating and maintaining site-specific manuals for each ITS Database team service environment.
  18. Coordinating with other ITS groups and third party vendors as needed.
  19. Logging changes to any Production ITS Database team resource using the ITS Change Management System.
  20. Periodically reviewing each ITS Database team service environment to evaluate the IT needs of the Customers and provide appropriate recommendations.
  21. Restoring Customer databases in priority order as directed by the Emergency Operations Center in the event of a disaster.

Customer Responsibilities

ITS Database Customer responsibilities and/or requirements in support of this SLA include:

  1. Providing accurate Customer contact information and accurate information about the database and application when requesting the creation of a new database.
  2. Maintaining and updating Customer contact information using the ITS Database Owner Report Tool in a timely manner when information changes.
  3. Securing or changing database credentials when Customers with those credentials change their affiliation with the university or Customer group.
  4. Reviewing the Database Customer Testing Plan - Public Version.
  5. Creating and maintaining a set of testing use cases to test the Customer's application against ITS Database team resources.
  6. Performing application testing with the Customer's testing use cases after all database patches, upgrades, and changes in a timely manner.
  7. Notifying application end users of any service interruptions or outages as a result of planned or unplanned maintenance performed by the ITS Database team.
  8. Responding to ITS Database team questions, inquiries, or requests in a timely manner.
  9. Notifying the ITS Database team of specific Customer application availability requirements.
  10. Responding to ISO alerts regarding the Customer's application in a timely manner.
  11. Developing, installing, configuring, maintaining, and upgrading the Customer's application and ensuring the Customer's application is at a version currently supported by the vendor.
  12. Reviewing, on an annual basis, and adhering to all ISO security policies, including Information Resources Use and Security PolicyMinimum Security Standards for Application Development and Administration, and Secure Web Application Coding Guidelines.
  13. Categorizing data stored in the database according to the ISO Data Classification Standard.
  14. Notifying the ITS Database team, registering with the ISO, and ensuring their application follows best practices for security when the database contains Confidential Data (formerly known as Category-I).
  15. Notifying the ITS Database team of service requests and incidents as defined in the Contacting the ITS Database Team section of this SLA.
  16. Investigating all end user and development team issues to identify the root cause of any problems and engaging the application vendor, if applicable, prior to contacting the ITS Database team for assistance.
  17. Agreeing with the predefined scheduled maintenance windows for the ITS Database shared environments.
  18. Consulting with the ITS Database team before making any application software or hardware purchases related to systems that will be utilizing ITS Database services. Any such software or hardware purchased without consultation with the ITS Database team may not be supported under this SLA.
  19. Complying with all software licensing and hardware warranty requirements for any Customer-provided equipment covered under this SLA and paying costs associated with required upgrades for new features or security concerns.
  20. Adhering to ITS hardware and software lifecycle requirements based on recommendations provided by the ITS Database team for dedicated or standalone database environments.
  21. Submitting decommission requests for ITS Database resources when they are no longer required in a timely manner.
  22. Paying the hourly T&M charge for any costs associated with changes made to a system or service that was not reviewed by the ITS Database team and resulted in requiring the assistance of the ITS Database team.
  23. Paying or provisioning an appropriate chargeback account in a timely manner for dedicated or standalone database environments.
  24. Following best practices in developing database roles and users with appropriate permissions required for database resources.
  25. Following best practices in the use of Development, Quality Assurance, and Production database environments.

Contacting the ITS Database Team

All contact with the ITS Database team should be conducted using ServiceNow, the ITS ticketing system.

Incidents

An incident is an unplanned interruption or reduction in quality of ITS Database services. During normal business hours (Monday through Friday 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, excluding university holidays and university closures), the ITS Database team will respond to incidents within 1 hour of notification for Production environments and within 2 hours of notification for Quality Assurance and Development environments. ITS Database team members will make every effort to respond to off-hours incidents after notification in a timely manner. If the Customer deems the incident requires immediate escalation after normal business hours, the Customer may call the ITS Service Desk at 512-475-9400 after emailing db-requests@its.utexas.edu. When calling the ITS Service Desk, reference the incident ticket number.

Incidents can be reported to the ITS Database team in the following ways:

  1. (Preferred) Email the ITS Database team at db-requests@its.utexas.edu. This will generate a ticket and assign it directly to the ITS Database team.
  2. Call the ITS Service Desk at 512-475-9400. The Service Desk will create a ticket on your behalf and escalate it to the ITS Database team.
  3. Email the ITS Service Desk at help@utexas.edu. This will generate a ticket and the Service Desk will escalate it to the ITS Database team.
  4. Submit a ticket to the ITS Service Desk at https://ut.service-now.com/sp. This will generate a ticket and the Service Desk will escalate it to the ITS Database team.

Service Requests

A service request is a request from a Customer for information, advice, a standard change, or access to an ITS Database service. During normal business hours (Monday through Friday 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, excluding university holidays and university closures), service requests will be responded to within one business day after notification to the ITS Database team. Changes associated with service requests will be made during normal business hours unless arrangements are made with the ITS Database team to perform them outside normal business hours. Requests made after normal business hours may not be responded to until the following business day.

Service requests can be reported to the ITS Database team in the following ways:

  1. (Preferred) Submit a General Database Request form from the ServiceNow service page for the ITS Database service. This will generate a ticket and assign it directly to the ITS Database team.
  2. Call the ITS Service Desk at 512-475-9400. The Service Desk will create a ticket on your behalf and escalate it to the ITS Database team.
  3. Email the ITS Service Desk at help@utexas.edu. This will generate a ticket and the Service Desk will escalate it to the ITS Database team.
  4. Submit a ticket to the ITS Service Desk at https://ut.service-now.com/sp. This will generate a ticket and the Service Desk will escalate it to the ITS Database team.

Maintenance and Service Changes

The ITS Database team follows the ITS Change Management process for all changes made to Production services and environments.  

Security

Each Customer is the owner of all data stored in the database and is expected to use their professional judgment in managing risks to the information and systems they use and/or support. As the custodian and systems administrator of the database system, the ITS Database team will make recommendations in response to a Customer's assessment of their data's classification and risk. ITS will implement Customer-approved solutions to protect the data. All security controls should be proportional to the confidentiality, integrity, and availability requirements of the data processed by the system. The ITS Database team will not be held liable for loss or compromise of data due to improper data security controls. Please see the CIO's Campus IT Policies for more information on minimum security standards.

Database Service Availability

Service availability defines the percentage of time this service is expected to be in production (database services available and accepting connections), with the exception of scheduled maintenance, and within service availability hours.

The ITS Database team has calculated service availability in the table below (percentage excludes 40 hours of scheduled yearly maintenance) for the following service availability hours:

  • Production: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • Non-production: Normal business hours (Monday through Friday 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, excluding university holidays and university closures)
Database Platform Service Availability
Oracle 99.75%
MySQL 99.57%
MSSQL 99.57%

 

Business Recovery and Continuity

The ITS Database team does not provide disaster recovery or business continuity planning for Customer services. ITS will not be responsible for damage to or loss of equipment or data due to natural disasters or problems that may result from a failure of university infrastructure or events outside the control of ITS or the university (ie. power fluctuation, power outage, network outage, etc.).

The ISO has developed a comprehensive risk management program that focuses on proactive risk reduction in compliance with university rules and policies as well as all relevant state and federal laws. This program helps units identify and monitor risk to information resources on campus and develop strategies to manage that risk over time to include business recovery and continuity.

Decommissioning Database Resources

When ITS Database resources are no longer required, the Customer must submit a Delete Existing Database form from the ServiceNow service page for the ITS Database service in a timely manner. This will generate a ticket and assign it directly to the ITS Database team.

For dedicated or standalone environments, the Customer must pay the full balance of the account within 14 calendar days of receiving the final invoice, which may include charges incurred or billed after the date of the decommission request.

Length of Agreement

This SLA is in effect when the ITS Database team provisions Customer-requested resources and is automatically renewed each year. This SLA will be in effect so long as the Customer has resources hosted by the ITS Database team. The Customer may decommission any resources by following the instructions in the Decommissioning Database Resources section of this SLA.

This SLA will be reviewed and modified, where appropriate, on an annual basis.

Appendix A: Revisions

Revision Date Revisions
2015-09-15

Original document.

2015-09-23 Minor Edits to backup SLA statements and Planned Maintenance Section.
2015-11-30 Added Database and Account Permissions section.
2016-01-14 Updated the SLA Uptime Metric Numbers
2016-03-28 Updated URL Links to ISO related Pages
2016-06-03

Moved Appendix B to Appendix C and added Oracle Exadata patching quarterly patching schedule under Appendix B.

2016-08-08

Added additional future quarterly patching dates to the schedule for 2017.

2017-01-07

Updated the Service Requests and Incident reporting sections to reflect the use of our Qualtrics request form and Service Now.

2017-01-30

Added upcoming patching dates for the July 2017 and October 2017 Quarterly Patch Set Updates to Appendix B

2017-07-21

Removed Thomas Orf from Contacts List.

2017-08-31

Updated Oracle Exadata Patching Dates Appendix B with first two quarters of 2018 patching dates.  Minor edits to remove the TODO from the customer responsibilities section.

2018-03-26

Updated Oracle Exadata Future Patching Dates Appendix B with the next two quarters patching dates.

2018-10-30

Updated Oracle Exadata Patching status and added new dates in Appendix B for future events

2018-12-18

Updated Oracle Exadata Patching status and added new dates for 2019 in Appendix B.

2019-03-25

Updated URLs. Added link to the ITS Database Owner Report Tool.

2019-09-10

Updated URLs to maintenance calendar.  Updated patching status/schedule in Appendix B.

2020-04-02

Revised and streamlined the SLA.

2020-05-18

Added link to the ServiceNow service page index.